Washington Park

  • 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60637 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Janie M. Collins
  • Park Phone: (773) 256-1248

Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park totals 366.84 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center,game room, and multi-purpose rooms. Green features of the park include a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasiums, fields, and multi-purpose rooms. Additionally, Washington Park features the renowed Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, fitness, Teen Club, Junior Bears Football. On the cultural side, the park offers music and movement and dance. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Washington Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as Ashaki Black History Month Celebration and other holiday-themed events.

History

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux, Washington Park is one of Chicago’s most significant historic landscapes. Originally considered the “western division”—a 367-acre portion of the enormous 1055-acre South Park—it was connected to the park’s “eastern division” via a grand boulevard called the Midway Plaisance. In 1881, the South Park Commissioners named the western division in honor of George Wash­ington (1732–1799) first president of the United States. At the same time, they named the eastern division Jackson Park.

 

Olmsted and Vaux completed an ambitious plan for South Park in 1871. The plan included a magnificent South Open Green- an open meadow on which cows and sheep would roam to enhance the pastoral experience and keep the lawn trim. The meadow was not only enjoyed by flocks of Southdown sheep, but also park patrons who gathered for baseball, drills, and other athletics.  Renowned architects Burnham & Root designed two late nineteenth century buildings in the park—the stables and round house and the refectory which originally housed the offices for the South park Commissioners.  In 1910 Burnham’s firm designed a larger administrative headquarters which houses the Du Sable Museum of African American History.

 

In 1922 Lorado Taft (1860–1936), Chicago’s pre-eminent sculptor, created the Fountain of Time on the southeastern edge of Washington Park. Inspired by ”The Paradox of Time,” a poem by Henry Austin Dobson, Taft’s fountain is composed of an ominous cloaked Father-Time figure gazing at a wave-like procession of one hundred human figures across the water.

 

By the mid-1930s, the growing African-American community around Washington Park was in dire need of additional recreational facilities. The park district responded by building two competition-size swimming pools near the refectory. In the early 1990s, the park district rehabilitated the refectory and transformed the swimming area into a major aquatic center. Recent projects include lagoon improvements, the construction of a $700 thousand playground, the creation of an arboretum, and a $2 million restoration of the Fountain of Time.  Lagoon improvements were made in the early 2000s.

Parking/Directions

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

Elegant Beauty

Elegant Beauty (1)

Location Notes: Adjacent to entryway of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Fountain of Time

Fountain of Time (1)

Location Notes: West of S. Cottage Grove Avenue on axis with Midway Plaisance

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

George Washington Monument

George Washington Monument (1)

Location Notes: S. Martin Luther King Drive, north of Washington Park, north of E. 51st Street

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Mosaic

Mosaic (1)

Location Notes: Field house lobby stairwell

Descriptors: Indoor, Mosaic or Ceramic

Peculiar People

Peculiar People (1)

Location Notes: Back wall of gymnasium stage

Descriptors: Indoor, Mural

Playground Art

Playground Art (1)

Location Notes: South of the Aquatic Center and east of S. Martin Luther King Drive

Descriptors: Indoor, Playground Art

Spirit of DuSable Series

Spirit of DuSable Series (1)

Location Notes: North of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love (1)

Location Notes: Adjacent to entryway of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Drexel Fountain

Drexel Fountain (1)

Location Notes: Drexel Square, east of Washington Park

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

Washington Fountains, Monuments, Sculptures

Washington Fountains, Monuments, Sculptures

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Notes: Fountain of Time Sculpture

Washington Baseball

Washington Baseball

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Basketball

Washington Basketball

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Park - Lille's Hot Dogs

Washington Park - Lille's Hot Dogs

Location: 4147 W. 58th St.

Hours: ,

Phone: (312)434-4727

Descriptors: Food & Beverage

Washington Cricket Slab

Washington Cricket Slab

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Fieldhouse

Washington Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Hours: , ,

Washington Fishing Area

Washington Fishing Area

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Fitness Center

Washington Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: ,

Notes:

M-F, 8-8:45pm;

Sign up for a membership: Month, 3 Month, Year, Teen (Limited Hrs)

Descriptors: ADA Accessible Equipment

Washington Football/Soccer

Washington Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Descriptors: Grass

DuSable Museum Flower Garden

DuSable Museum Flower Garden

Location Notes: 740 65th Pl.

Notes: DuSable Museum Flower Gardens

Washington Gymnasium

Washington Gymnasium

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Lagoon

Washington Lagoon

Location Notes: 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

Notes: Washington Park Lagoon

Washington Clubroom

Washington Clubroom

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Auditorium

Washington Auditorium

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Playground - E

Washington Playground - EAccessible

Location: 5450 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - NW

Washington Playground - NWAccessible

Location: 5250 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Notes: Chicago Plays! Renovation, Spring 2016

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - S

Washington Playground - SAccessible

Location: 550 E. 60th St.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - SW

Washington Playground - SWAccessible

Location: 5650 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Washington Rackquetball Court

Washington Rackquetball Court

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Washington Park Pool

Washington Park PoolAccessible (1)

Hours:

Phone: (773)288-0619

Descriptors: Outdoor, Water Slide, ADA Lift

Washington Tennis Court

Washington Tennis Court

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Washington Spray Pool

Washington Spray Pool

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Fall Programs

Most fall programs start the week of September 19 and run through the week of November 21. Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.
 

Winter Programs

Most winter programs start the week of January 9 and run through the week of March 13, 2017.  View programs online & create your wish list beginning Monday, November 21.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Click on the program name links below for program descriptions, availability information and to register online now (if available).

Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Fall, Winter, Spring at Washington 167403Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/08/29 18:45From August 29, 2016 to June 16, 2017$186.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Ballet - Beginner at Washington 171995InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 7 but less than 12Coed2017/01/14 18:00From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from Noon to 12:45pm
$38.00
Ballet - Beginner at Washington 171996InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/01/14 20:00From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 2pm to 2:30pm
$28.00
Ballet - Intermediate at Washington 172002InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/01/14 15:30From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 10am
$28.00
Ballet - Intermediate at Washington 172003InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/01/14 16:30From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 10:30am to 11am
$28.00
Basketball - Open at Washington 172135OpenSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2017/01/09 15:00From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 9am to 11am
Each Wednesday from 9am to 11am
$31.00
Basketball - Open at Washington 172136OpenSports - Basketball30 and upCoed2017/01/13 00:30From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$23.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Washington 187036InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 5 but less than 14Coed2017/01/10 22:30From January 10, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4:30pm to 6pm
$0
Baton & Pom Pom at Washington 172309InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 5 but less than 14Coed2017/01/12 22:30From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 4:30pm to 6pm
$0
Boot Camp at Washington 172396InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/01/11 00:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$38.00
Cheerleading - Recreational at Washington 172543InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 5 but less than 14Coed2017/01/11 22:30From January 11, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4:30pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4:30pm to 6pm
$0
Conditioning at Washington 172604InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/01/09 15:30From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Monday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Friday from 9:30am to 10:30am
$38.00
Dance - African at Washington 188708InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 5 but less than 11Coed2017/01/10 23:00From January 10, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 5:50pm
$10.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Washington 172667InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 10Coed2017/01/14 17:30From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 11:30am to Noon
$28.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Washington 172666InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/01/14 21:00From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 3pm to 3:30pm
$28.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 172697InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/01/14 16:00From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 10:30am
$28.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 172698InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/01/14 17:00From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to 11:30am
$28.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 172699InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 7 but less than 12Coed2017/01/14 18:45From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm
$38.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 172700InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/01/14 20:30From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 2:30pm to 3pm
$28.00
Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Basketball at Washington 172720InstructionSports - Basketball18 and upMale2017/01/14 15:00From January 14, 2017 to March 25, 2017
Each Saturday from 9am to 11:30am
$13.00
Inner City Basketball at Washington 189804Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/01/18 22:00From January 18, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
$0
Low Impact Aerobics at Washington 173691InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/01/10 01:15From January 9, 2017 to March 13, 2017
Each Monday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$15.00
Low Impact Aerobics at Washington 173692InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/01/12 01:15From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$15.00
Park Kids - Winter at Washington 174042InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/01/09 19:45From January 9, 2017 to March 24, 2017
Each Monday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 1:45pm to 6pm
$62.00
Seasonal Sports at Washington 174312InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/01/09 21:30From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 5pm
$0
Seasonal Sports at Washington 174313InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2017/01/09 23:00From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 6:30pm
$0
Table Tennis at Washington 174697InstructionSports - Table Tennis18 and upCoed2017/01/09 18:00From January 9, 2017 to March 19, 2017
Each Sunday from Noon to 4pm
Each Monday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Friday from Noon to 2:30pm
$23.00
Teen Fit Box at Washington 174814InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/01/09 22:00From January 9, 2017 to March 13, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Teen Leadership Connection at Washington 191586InstructionSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/01/13 00:00From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 6pm to 7pm
$0
Yoga at Washington 175505InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/01/09 23:00From January 9, 2017 to March 13, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
$15.00
Yoga at Washington 175506InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/01/11 23:00From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$15.00
Yoga/Pilates at Washington 175523InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/01/10 00:00From January 9, 2017 to March 13, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 7pm
$15.00
Yoga/Pilates at Washington 175524InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/01/12 00:00From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
$15.00

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park totals 366.84 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center,game room, and multi-purpose rooms. Green features of the park include a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasiums, fields, and multi-purpose rooms. Additionally, Washington Park features the renowed Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, fitness, Teen Club, Junior Bears Football. On the cultural side, the park offers music and movement and dance. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Washington Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as Ashaki Black History Month Celebration and other holiday-themed events.

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux, Washington Park is one of Chicago’s most significant historic landscapes. Originally considered the “western division”—a 367-acre portion of the enormous 1055-acre South Park—it was connected to the park’s “eastern division” via a grand boulevard called the Midway Plaisance. In 1881, the South Park Commissioners named the western division in honor of George Wash­ington (1732–1799) first president of the United States. At the same time, they named the eastern division Jackson Park.

 

Olmsted and Vaux completed an ambitious plan for South Park in 1871. The plan included a magnificent South Open Green- an open meadow on which cows and sheep would roam to enhance the pastoral experience and keep the lawn trim. The meadow was not only enjoyed by flocks of Southdown sheep, but also park patrons who gathered for baseball, drills, and other athletics.  Renowned architects Burnham & Root designed two late nineteenth century buildings in the park—the stables and round house and the refectory which originally housed the offices for the South park Commissioners.  In 1910 Burnham’s firm designed a larger administrative headquarters which houses the Du Sable Museum of African American History.

 

In 1922 Lorado Taft (1860–1936), Chicago’s pre-eminent sculptor, created the Fountain of Time on the southeastern edge of Washington Park. Inspired by ”The Paradox of Time,” a poem by Henry Austin Dobson, Taft’s fountain is composed of an ominous cloaked Father-Time figure gazing at a wave-like procession of one hundred human figures across the water.

 

By the mid-1930s, the growing African-American community around Washington Park was in dire need of additional recreational facilities. The park district responded by building two competition-size swimming pools near the refectory. In the early 1990s, the park district rehabilitated the refectory and transformed the swimming area into a major aquatic center. Recent projects include lagoon improvements, the construction of a $700 thousand playground, the creation of an arboretum, and a $2 million restoration of the Fountain of Time.  Lagoon improvements were made in the early 2000s.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.